LGBT history started when the first instances of same sex love and sexuality of ancient civilizations was recorded, involving the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in and around the world. The history behind the LGBTQ grasps a lot of stories of strength, struggle, cultures, and communities were considered nonnormative. It is the story of the tragedy that LGBTQ have faced and still facing.
A research by the Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association (GALVA) mentions,Homosexuality is as old as the Vedas from around 3102 B.C. Homosexuality was recognized as “tritiya prakriti”, or the third nature. Back in the old third century BC, the Koovagam festival was inherent. It was celebrated as Krishna took form of a woman to marry Arayan just before Mahabharata battle. The festival continues even today and it is one of the largest annual gathering of trans people in India.
The Buggery Act of 1533 was passed during the Parliament reign of Henry VIII, the first in law male homosexuality was targeted for persecution in the UK.It was not until 1861 with the passing of the Offences Against the Person Act that the death penalty was abolished for acts of sodomy instead being made punishable by a minimum of 10 years imprisonment. However, The Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 went a step further and made any male homosexual act illegal. This legislation was so ambiguously worded that was known as “Blackmailer’s Charter”.
In 1994 the annual observance of LGBT History Month began in the US. LGBT History Month was founded by Rodney Wilson, Missouri high school history teacher. LGBT History Month is a month long celebration that provides role models build community and represent civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBT community. In Canada and US, it is celebrated in October. In the United Kingdom in February and in Berlin, it is known as Queer History month.
Some events from the LGBTQ History
- 1924 – The Society for Human Rights is found by Henry Gerber in Chicago. It was the first documented gay rights organization.
- 1951 – Roberta Cowell is the first known British trans woman to undergo reassignment surgery
- 1961 – The first US-television documentary about homosexuality got aired on a local station in California.
- 1967 – The Sexual Offences Act decriminalized sex between two men over 21 and ‘in private’
- 1969 – The ‘Stonewall riots’ took place in the USA
- 1973 – Maryland became the first state to statutorily that banned same-sex marriage.
- 1978 – Gilbert Baker designed and stitched the first rainbow flag.
- 1993 – President Bill Clinton signs a military policy directive that prohibited openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the military, but also prohibits the harassment of “closeted” homosexuals. The policy is known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
- 2000 – Vermont became the first state to legalize civil-unions between same-sex couples.
- 2004 – The first legal same-sex marriage took place in Massachusetts in the United States
- 2005 – The California legislature becomes the first to pass a bill allowing marriage between same-sex couples. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoes the bill.
- 2006 – The New Jersey Supreme Court rules that state lawmakers must provide the rights and benefits of marriage to gay and lesbian couples.
- 2017 – President Donald Trump announces via Twitter that “After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military…”
- 2019 – The Supreme Court allows Trump’s transgender military ban to go into effect. The policy blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions and specifies that they can serve only according to the sex they were assigned at birth.